TLDR : volume in roid increases sig, chance to miss the extraction cycle is sig is too low WRT gun/drone optimal sig.
Combat ships are balanced among sizes : “bigger is not better”. In the case of mining ship, it’s no more the case : barges are just better than venture, and rorqual is just better than barges.
This creates an imbalance : as soon as you can fly a barge, there is almost no reason to not fly it ; same for rorqual.
The goals of this proposal is to make it so that ventures still find a use, and so for barge, even when a rorqual is available.
The balance among combat ships is done with the following idea : bigger has more firepower, more tank, but can do less against small targets. The main tool for that, is the sig radius: a target with a smaller sig radius will be harder to hit, and in most case it will be more efficient to use a smaller gun to hit it.
I propose the same mechanism for roids : roids have a signature radius, and therefore the mining barge and rorquals are less efficient at mining a small roid than a venture.
At first I was thinking about increasing the cycle time of the lasers/drones/excavator, but that would not work with eg ice blocks.
Instead, I propose that each laser cycle has a rate of success depending on the optimal sig of the lasers, and the sig of the roid : mining_chance = min(1, roid_sig/optimal_sig) .
First we define the optimal signatures :
mining lasers : 40m
strip miners & miner drones : 160m
excavators : 640m
that’s a *4 each time.
Then from that, we define the asteroid sizes :
here the idea is that a part of the ore is optimal for rorqual, a part for the barges, a part for ventures
My idea is, that the remaining volume in a roid makes its sig radius. I made those numbers of the spot, if you have better that would be nice.
up to 5000 m³ remaining : small size( 40m)
up to 15000m³ remaining : medium size (160m)
bigger than 15000 m³ : L size (640 m)
If we want to make it continuous, to avoid threshold effects, we can use a square function : sig = 40 +vol/60 + vol²/650000 .
Of course we also need to make roids immun to target painters.